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Here’s what’s in store for Earth Day Durango 2024

Procession and family-friendly ‘zero waste’ party scheduled for Saturday at Buckley Park
Earth Day Durango 2024 is scheduled for Saturday and will kick off with the Procession of Species march down Main Avenue at 10:30 a.m. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

The city of Durango is celebrating Arbor Day and Earth Day back-to-back this year with tree planting at Santa Rita Park on Friday and a parade and celebration at Buckley Park on Saturday.

Other Earth Day activities are also planned before and after the major celebration on Saturday.

Durango Mayor Jessika Buell recited two proclamations on Tuesday declaring the week of April 15 through April 22 Earth Week and April 15 through April 19 Arbor Week.

On Saturday, the city will provide free transportation on city buses to encourage people to go green and walk, bike, bus or carpool their way around town, according to event organizers.

Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency Executive Director Jenny Hill said 4CORE is participating in Earth Day Durango by hosting an electric vehicle ride and drive event at the La Plata County Fairgrounds on Saturday.

Michelle Herringer is organizing the Procession of Species parade that will kick off the day at Main Avenue and College Drive at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. She said the parade will feature only one vehicle, an electric vehicle. People are encouraged to dress up in animal costumes given the parade’s nature theme.

She said a whole slew of events and activities will occur at Buckley Park following the parade.

There will be a station where people can donate old shoes, Durango High School students will recite poetry at the park, and there will be awards for best parade costumes, among other things, she said.

Kindergartners at Park Elementary School help plant a London plane tree during the city of Durango's 42nd Annual Arbor Day Celebration in Santa Rita Park in 2022. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Earlier this month, a film called “Fashion Reimagined” was shown in town and instant pot cooking classes were held. A bicycle and materials repair class called Repair Cafe will be held on Sunday at the Durango Tool Library. A documentary called “2040” will be shown at the Durango Dharma Center on April 26.

More details about Earth Day, Earth Week and Earth Month events are online at earthdaydurango.com.

“I've been involved in environmental issues since ... when I first moved to Durango because I love Durango so much and Earth Day means preserving the beauty of our environment,” Herringer said.

She said people should preserve the beauty of the natural environment for future generations, whether they are local to Durango or just visiting.

Durango Botanic Gardens and the Southwest chapter of the Colorado Native Plant Society are partnering to host demonstrations on how to make local soil mixes and how to pot native seeds without using plastic at Buckley Park, according to the native plant society.

Gail Harris, who leads the team organizing Earth Day Durango, said the city’s work toward sustainability goals such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions demonstrates it “recognizes the importance of preserving our environment and ensuring we leave a livable world for future generations.”

“That’s one of my most important issues and I’m glad that we as a community are working toward that. And that we recognize the negative impacts of human-caused pollution and environmental degradation,” she said.

She said Saturday is a great chance to “showcase” the strengths of Durango’s public transit system, and she hopes parking won’t cause problems because people are using alternative modes of transportation.

She said the celebration at Buckley Park is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. following the procession.

Earth Day Durango is being advertised as a family-friendly “zero waste event” with food, music and art to be showcased at the park. The theme this year is “Planet vs. Plastic,” according to the event website.

City Arborist Matt Besecker invited schoolchildren to join him at Santa Rita Park between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to plant a total of nine trees in celebration of Arbor Day.

The city maintains over 11,000 trees and has been recognized as a Tree City USA community for over four decades, according to the forestry division of Durango Parks and Recreation.


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